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Japan-South Korea rift

South Korean court declines to rule on comfort women deal with Japan

Plaintiffs' lawsuit to strike down agreement as unconstitutional is dismissed

South Korea's Constitutional Court in Seoul.   © Kyodo

SEOUL (Kyodo) -- South Korea's Constitutional Court declined Friday to rule on the constitutionality of a 2015 deal with Japan that aimed to financially help Korean women who were forced to work in the Japanese military's wartime brothels, but that proved deeply unpopular with South Koreans.

Under the deal, the two countries had agreed to "finally and irreversibly" settle the long-running bilateral feud, with Japan issuing an apology to former comfort women for their suffering and providing 1 billion yen ($9.1 million) to a foundation meant to help the victims financially.

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